A Sunday with Haley Boyd
Words: Megan Laber
Images: Ryan Skinner
July 03 2016
Finding parking right off Melrose Place on a weekend in West Hollywood is as rare as rain, yet somehow we found a spot for a silver Prius (naturally) around the corner from the farmer’s market where we met Haley Boyd.
Haley has taken over the feet of women with a penchant for colorful and refined sandals that nod to a ‘90s Prada silhouette with her footwear brand, Marais. She is the queen of cool, and Marais USA has become the go-to brand for elevated footwear in the independent market.
We start off wandering around the Melrose Place Farmer’s market, browsing long stemmed flowers, fresh produce and 20 different flavors of hummus.
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“When I’m not working on the weekends I usually go to the beach, Huntington Gardens or some type of excursion that gets me outside. At night I like to grab dinner with friends,” says Haley. “Marvin is this French restaurant with a really good wine list right by my apartment, and owned by a friend I went to boarding school with in Santa Barbara. My old theater friends pretty much all live in Los Angeles now.”
Running her own operation between her WeHo (that’s West Hollywood in L.A. vernacular) bungalow and the downtown factory that makes her shoes, Haley moved from New York City to Los Angeles a few years ago. She cites the classics as inciting her departure; weather, a fresh start and the New York City burnout. The time frame fits perfectly with the mass exodus that made news when people started to consider Los Angeles a “burgeoning cultural hub” that offers more of a balance between personal life and work than its east coast counterpart.
“In LA I have a routine, I have a home and a yard,” says Haley. “Sundays consist of a farmer’s market to get all my groceries for the week. I like to bang it all out. Especially in LA, the produce is so much better. And it’s not wrapped in plastic, which I like. Then maybe a flea market – I’m much more of a nester here. The routine is almost exactly the same each weekend. In New York I would go out way more at night, and no day was really the same. I’m also a little bit older, so I am sure that has something to do with it.”
Following flower purchases, we decide to stop by the Beverly Hills Hotel, the inspiration behind countless palm leaf designs, thanks to both the iconic wallpaper and Old Hollywood subculture that surrounds (and inhabits) it.
Vintage Mercedes and Rolls-Royces line the driveway, the ‘90s resort pink painted walls permeate the setting, the greenery always perfectly maintained (it was kind of a shock when the road medians of Beverly Hills finally turned off their sprinklers due to the California drought, warranting signs to explain their dull color). Once past the opulent lobby, we pass by shiny boutiques filled with bejeweled sandals and throwback suiting, guests sipping lattes at the tiny Fountain Room cafe downstairs, and make our way out to the pool.
“My style has done a 180°,” says Haley. “My hair was long and wavy. I chopped it all off and went blonder. I used to wear a lot of black, and now I barely own any black clothing. It’s pretty much all blue and white. I did the KonMari cleanout and it was funny, the only things that apparently gave me joy were light colored. I used to really get dressed in New York, but here things have to be more casual or it seems a bit ridiculous.”
Haley describes how she lived all over New York, essentially spending her entire twenties in the city. I ask if there is anything she misses about it, to which she quickly answers, “No.”
She steps back and says, “The people of course. I miss friends from there, but again, a lot of them have moved here. Sometimes people comment that my Instagram just makes them want to make the jump.”
Haley fits in perfectly by that pool. The strong angles on her face, the cropped blonde hair and her ability to formulate a look that is a modernized version of something an Old Hollywood starlet would put together creates this Grace Kelly moment that we weren’t even attempting to art direct. In reality she is this kind of poster child for starting over, moving thousands of miles away and finding a bit of solace in new territory. Anyone with the daydreams of something different should take hope.